February 15, 1939 – April 5. 1995
Grand Rapids native and Alpine Township resident Daniel Kenneth Brauer graduated from Ottawa Hillls High School in 1957 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963. Brauer was pastor of the Muskegon Metropolitan Community Church from 1991 until his death from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty water heater in his home. He also served a vice chair of Muskegon Area AIDS Resource Services.
Muskegon Chronicle, April 7, 1995
Third Coast Magazine, May 1995
June 23, 1928 – November 11, 2010
Illinois native Jean Shirley Cione pitched with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1954, including one year each playing with the Battle Creek Belles and the Muskegon Belles. In the off-season earned her Bachelor’s at Eastern Michigan University, where she later taught for 29 years and served as the first Women’s Athletic Director. Cione was survived by her partner Ginny Hunt.
Ann Arbor News, December 2, 2010
May 21, 1925 – July 6, 2014
Detroit native Margaret Elnora Wenzell played nine seasons in the 1940s and 1950s for numerous teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, including the Grand Rapids Chicks, the Muskegon Lassies, and the Battle Creek Belles. Employed with General Motors in Michigan and later an electric company in California, she was laid to rest next to her life companion and spouse Dorothy Kamenshek.
Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuary
July 24, 1920 – February 12, 2008
Longtime Battle Creek resident Yvonne Phyllis Cushman graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and was that city’s first female bus driver. Her other jobs included working as a machinist in an electronics factory, operating a grocery, and caring for residents at Fort Custer State Home and the Muskegon Regional Facility. A Harley rider in the 1950s, Cushman also owned and showed Great Danes.
Battle Creek Enquirer, February 14, 2008
September 5, 1951 – August 3, 2009
Muskegon resident Daniel Chambers spent summers on Mackinac Island while growing up in Dearborn and earned his degree in fine arts from Wayne State University. As owner of his own design business, he created interiors for residential and commercial clients on Mackinac Island and in west Michigan. Chambers and his life partner Terry MacAllister were together 28 years.
Mackinac Island Town Crier, September 5, 2009
Clock Funeral Home
May 4, 1932 – October 19, 2012
In 1953 and 1954 Barbara Jean “Barb” Sowers played outfrield with Muskegon Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Born in Detroit, she grew up in Livonia and retired as a high school counselor with the Livonia schools, where she headed the teachers’ union in the mid-1970s. Sowers was preceded in death by Shirley Weaver, her companion of 45 years.
Roberson Funeral Home and Crematory
August 14, 1966 – February 18, 2013
Former Muskegon resident Lynnette Mick was born in Fremont and worked for Fasco Industries for 23 years before moving to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An animal rights activist, she was survived by her daughter and by her life partner Diane Banach.
Muskegon Chronicle, February 21, 2013
August 26, 1928 – April 12, 2013
Born in Escanaba, William James Hirn earned his Bachelor’s from Western Michigan University and did his graduate studies at the University of Michigan. After teaching in Muskegon and Ann Arbor, he moved to New York State, where he was on the early faculty of Rockland Community College. Hirn and his life partner of 48 years Joseph Rogers retired to Spain and later lived in Houston and Las Vegas.
Escanaba Daily Press, April 19, 2013
March 12, 1925 – January 11, 1980
Duane Andrew VanderYacht attended Holland Public Schools, graduated from Hope College, and lived most of his life in Holland before moving to Muskegon. He worked as a salesman, janitor, and later in life was self-employed as a consultant. During the 1950s, VanderYacht was a subscriber to ONE magazine.
Muskegon Chronicle, January 14, 1980
March 19, 1958 – October 17, 2017
Lifelong Muskegon resident Barbara Ann Thomas graduated from Orchard View High School in 1976. She shared a home with her wife and partner of 29 years Julienne Little.
Muskegon Chronicle, October 19, 2017